Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saint September 21 : St. Matthew : #Apostle : Patron of Accountants, Taxes, Bankers

Apostle and evangelist.
The name Matthew is derived from the Hebrew Mattija, being shortened to Mattai in post-Biblical Hebrew. In Greek it is sometimes spelled Maththaios, BD, and sometimes Matthaios, CEKL, but grammarians do not agree as to which of the two spellings is the original. Matthew is spoken of five times in the New Testament; first in Matthew 9:9, when called by Jesus to follow Him, and then four times in the list of the Apostles, where he is mentioned in the seventh (Luke 6:15, and Mark 3:18), and again in the eighth place (Matthew 10:3, and Acts 1:13). The man designated in Matthew 9:9, as "sitting in the custom house", and "named Matthew" is the same as Levi, recorded in Mark 2:14, and Luke 5:27, as "sitting at the receipt of custom". The account in the three Synoptics is identical, the vocation of Matthew-Levi being alluded to in the same terms. Hence Levi was the original name of the man who was subsequently called Matthew; the Maththaios legomenos of Matthew 9:9, would indicate this.
The fact of one man having two names is of frequent occurrence among the Jews. It is true that the same person usually bears a Hebrew name such as "Shaoul" and a Greek name, Paulos. However, we have also examples of individuals with two Hebrew names as, for instance, Joseph-Caiaphas, Simon-Cephas, etc. It is probable that Mattija, "gift of Iaveh", was the name conferred upon the tax-gatherer by Jesus Christ when He called him to the Apostolate, and by it he was thenceforth known among his Christian brethren, Levi being his original name.
Matthew, the son of Alpheus (Mark 2:14) was a Galilean, although Eusebius informs us that he was a Syrian. As tax-gatherer at Capharnaum, he collected custom duties for Herod Antipas, and, although a Jew, was despised by the Pharisees, who hated all publicans. When summoned by Jesus, Matthew arose and followed Him and tendered Him a feast in his house, where tax-gatherers and sinners sat at table with Christ and His disciples. This drew forth a protest from the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in these consoling words: "I came not to call the just, but sinners".
No further allusion is made to Matthew in the Gospels, except in the list of the Apostles. As a disciple and an Apostle he thenceforth followed Christ, accompanying Him up to the time of His Passion and, in Galilee, was one of the witnesses of His Resurrection. He was also amongst the Apostles who were present at the Ascension, and afterwards withdrew to an upper chamber, in Jerusalem, praying in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts 1:10 and 1:14).
Of Matthew's subsequent career we have only inaccurate or legendary data. St. Irenæus tells us that Matthew preached the Gospel among the Hebrews, St. Clement of Alexandria claiming that he did this for fifteen years, and Eusebius maintains that, before going into other countries, he gave them his Gospel in the mother tongue. Ancient writers are not as one as to the countries evangelized by Matthew, but almost all mention Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), and some Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria. According to Heracleon, who is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Matthew did not die a martyr, but this opinion conflicts with all other ancient testimony. Let us add, however, that the account of his martyrdom in the apocryphal Greek writings entitled "Martyrium S. Matthæi in Ponto" and published by Bonnet, "Acta apostolorum apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1898), is absolutely devoid of historic value. Lipsius holds that this "Martyrium S. Matthæi", which contains traces of Gnosticism, must have been published in the third century.
There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: "S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est".
Various writings that are now considered apocryphal, have been attributed to St. Matthew. In the "Evangelia apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1876), Tischendorf reproduced a Latin document entitled: "De Ortu beatæ Mariæ et infantia Salvatoris", supposedly written in Hebrew by St. Matthew the Evangelist, and translated into Latin by Jerome, the priest. It is an abridged adaptation of the "Protoevangelium" of St. James, which was a Greek apocryphal of the second century. This pseudo-Matthew dates from the middle or the end of the sixth century.
The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew on 21 September, and the Greek Church on 16 November. St. Matthew is represented under the symbol of a winged man, carrying in his hand a lance as a characteristic emblem.
Text shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

#PopeFrancis "Live, love and believe! And with God’s grace, be beacons of hope to all around you.” at Audience + Video

(Vatican Radio) “Wherever the Lord has planted you, stand firm in hope; never lose heart”. Those were Pope Francis’ words at his General Audience on Wednesday as he continued his reflections on Christian hope. This week the Holy Father focused his attention on teaching the virtue of hope, offering his guidance and encouragement especially to young people. Don't give in to negativity
He told those present in St Peter’s Square, “never to yield to the negativity that tears things and people down, but keep building, try to make this world conform ever more fully to God’s plan.”
Never despair, he added, build on who you are; if you're on the ground, get up. If you're sitting, get up and go. If boredom paralyzes you, fill your life with good works.”
The Pope continued by saying that, “God does not disappoint: if he has placed hope in our hearts, he does not want to frustrate it with continued frustration. Everything is born to bloom in an eternal spring.”
Be peace builders
Pope Francis invited Christians to use their “God-given gifts of mind and heart to help our human family to grow in freedom, justice and dignity.”  “Peace, the Pope said, is in the midst of men, do not listen to the voice of those who spread hate and divisions.”
Jesus, the Holy Father underlined, “gave us a shining light in the darkness: defend it, protect it.
Speaking to the pilgrims present, Pope Francis encouraged them to dream, and concluding his catechesis, he said, “live, love and believe!  And with God’s grace, be beacons of hope to all around you.”
Radio Vaticana - Excerpt of Pope's message at Audience
 "Here among you (in St Peter’s Square), the Pope said, there are many Mexicans; the earthquake has caused casualties and material damage and in this moment of pain I express my closeness to the whole Mexican population ".

He continued, “I ask Almighty God to welcome all those who lost their lives", and he also remembered the rescue workers involved in helping those affected.
Finally, the Holy Father, invoked the Our Lady of Guadalupe, so dear to the Mexican nation. 

#BreakingNews 7.1 Earthquake Kills over 200 in Mexico with many Missing - Please PRAY

 Rescuers dig through rubble after magnitude 7.1 quake kills over 200 people in Mexico. At least 22 children died, another 30 missing after collapse of school, among dozens of buildings wrecked .The magnitude 7.1. 32 years to the day after a devastating 1985 quake. A powerful quake killed nearly 100 people in the south of the country less than two weeks ago.  Parts of colonial-era churches crumbled in the state of Puebla, where the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) located the quake's epicentre. U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned the earthquake in a tweet, saying: "God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you." Pope Francis told pilgrims that he was praying, "In this moment of pain, I want to express my closeness and prayers to all the beloved Mexican people," he said. 

#BreakingNews 34 Burundian Refugees Killed at Camp by Security in Dem. Rep. of Congo - Please PRAY

AFRICA/DR CONGO - Massacre of Burundian refugees in the east: 34 dead and about a hundred injured Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - 34 Burundian refugees were killed by security forces on September 16 in the refugee camp near the village of Kamanyola in the Plain of Ruzizi, South Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to information sent from sources of the local Church to Agenzia Fides, the tragedy was triggered by the arrest of four Burundians on the night of September 13, who were accused of being armed with cudgels and patrolling the fenced area of their camp, without the permission of the local authorities. The four were initially detained by the Immigration Department in Kamanyola and were then handed over to the local security service headquarters, the National Intelligence Agency (ANR).
The refugees explained that they were carrying out a night patrol because they had been informed of a probable assault on their camp by members of the Burundian pro-government militia, Imbonerakure.
On the evening of 15 September, Burundian refugees organized a mass demonstration to release the four inmates in front of the ANR headquarters. In the early hours of the 16th, the situation degenerated when the security forces opened fire on the crowd, killing 34 Burundians and injuring about a hundred. Authorities confirm one soldier died and some security agents were injured, indicating that there were armed people among the refugees. According to a note sent to Fides, "it is difficult to confirm that refugees have weapons, because security agents would never have captured armed Burundi refugees. Rather, it should be noted that the population alludes to Burundians (armed) who operate in the Plain of Ruzizi, who come directly from Burundi and therefore are not refugees from Kamanyola".
Fides sources point out, however, that there is mistrust among the population towards Burundi refugees, while local authorities have not undertaken any efforts to integrate them in the local society.
More than 410,000 Burundians were forced to seek shelter in the DRC and Tanzania (see Fides 26/5/2017) because of the violence triggered by the crisis that broke out in 2015 following the third mandate of President Pierre Nkurunziza, in violation of the Constitution and Arusha Peace Agreements. Since then, Burundi has been living in a state of permanent tension between the violence committed by the pro-government militia and those of some guerrilla groups who go against the president. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/9/2017)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. Sept. 20, 2017 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 445


Reading 11 TM 3:14-16

Beloved:
I am writing you,
although I hope to visit you soon.
But if I should be delayed,
you should know how to behave in the household of God,
which is the Church of the living God,
the pillar and foundation of truth.
Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion,

Who was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed to the Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.

Responsorial PsalmPS 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R. (2) How great are the works of the Lord!
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
He has made known to his people the power of his works,
giving them the inheritance of the nations.
R. How great are the works of the Lord!

AlleluiaSEE JN 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life,
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 7:31-35

Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."